Saturday, October 28, 2023

The day of Catholic women priests is coming by Janice Sevre-Duszynska ARCWP For The Baltimore Sun • Published: Oct 27, 2023 at 2:10 pm

As an ordained priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, I appreciated that an article on the Synod of Bishops’ 16th General Assembly at the Vatican was published in The Baltimore Sun (“Differences remain over role of women as Catholics meet,” Oct. 26). While I perceived the synod as a step forward, it is really sad that the idea of women priests is a bridge too far.

I am grateful that Pope Francis speaks out against war and climate chaos, as well as on behalf of the poor. And I was ecstatic that he renounced the oppressive Document of Discovery. But unless he sees an apparition of God as a woman, I don’t believe that Francis will ever support the ordination of women priests. I have hope, however, that in the future a progressive pope will embrace the Divine Feminine. And equality in the form of women priests will finally come to the Roman Catholic Church.

— Janice Sevre-Duszynska, Towson

Pope's major Vatican summit ends without action on women deacons, mention of LGBTQ Catholics by Christopher White, Joshua J. McElwee

 My comment: Pope Francis should expand the number of women at this Synod and include the voices of women deacons and priests who could share their lived experiences of serving God's people in sacramental and justice-oriented ministries for 21 years.  The studies have been done. Next year, share them, and listen to the experiences of Roman Catholic Women Priests who have been walking the talk of  creating an inclusive Church! Bridget Mary

National Catholic Reporter

The Vatican summit on the future of the church concluded on Oct. 28 by postponing action on ordaining women as deacons and failing to acknowledge deep tensions over how to care for LGBTQ Catholics.

"A 41-page report, approved and published that evening, called for the results of earlier papal and theological commissions on women deacons to be presented for further consideration at the next assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in October 2024. 

The report, titled "A synodal church in mission," follows an intense month of debates at the Vatican among some 450 participants over a range of big issues, including the role of women in church ministries, clergy sexual abuse and better inclusion of LGBTQ Catholics.

Theological and pastoral research on the access of women to the diaconate should be continued, benefiting from consideration of the results of the commissions specially established by the Holy Father, and from the theological, historical and exegetical research already undertaken," the report states. "If possible, the results of this research should be presented to the next session of the assembly."

The report goes on to state the need for the church to address employment injustices and unfair remuneration for women in the church, "especially for women in consecrated life, who are too often treated as cheap labor." 

Proposals also include a review of liturgical texts and church documents so that language will be considerate to both men and women and to also include "a range of words, images and narratives that draw more widely on women's experience."

While previous documents leading up to the closely watched meeting were marked by candor and openness, the synthesis report for the Oct. 4-29 assembly takes a much more cautious tone. Although it makes 81 proposals, they are often quite open-ended or general, and the text calls for further theological or canonical study, evaluation or consideration at least 20 times.

Participants voted on the final text paragraph by paragraph through the early evening of Oct. 28. The threshold for passage for each paragraph was a two-thirds majority of the voting members.

The paragraphs that received the most no votes were two of the primary paragraphs addressing the possibility of women deacons. One passed by a vote of 277-69; the other by a vote of 279-67. A paragraph addressing the question of clerical celibacy also received substantial no votes, but passed 291-55.

At a press briefing shortly after the text was published, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, one of the synod's lead organizers, said he was "full of wonder that so many people have voted in favor" of the paragraphs about women's leadership in the church. "That means that the resistance is not so great as people have thought," he said.

On the question of LGBTQ Catholics, Cardinal Mario Grech, who heads the Vatican's synod office, told the briefing that the assembly felt a need to "respect everyone's pace." He added: "It doesn't mean if your voice is stronger it will prevail."

Jesuit Fr. James Martin, a popular spiritual author and editor of the LGBTQ Catholic publication Outreach who took part in the synod as a voting member, told NCR he was "disappointed but not surprised" by the result for LGBTQ Catholics.

"There were widely diverging views on the topic," said Martin. "I wish, however, that some of those discussions, which were frank and open, had been captured in the final synthesis."

For the first time since the establishment of the church's Synod of Bishops in 1965, about 50 women were granted voting rights by Francis at this assembly. While the final report they helped approve did not call immediately for the ordination of women as deacons, and did not even mention calls for priestly ordination for women, it did offer some pointed language about the role of women in church leadership."

Members of 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community- All Saints Day Liturgy - Oct. 28, 2023, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP, Readers: Jack McKillip and Mary Montavon, Prayer Leaders: Jerry and Suzanne Bires, IT: Mary Theresa Streck


Mosaic from Basilica di Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Revenna, Italy

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GATHERING SONG: A Gathering of Spirits by Carrie Newcomer



Bridget Mary: Let us pause now to pray with one another for forgiveness for the times we failed to trust in the Spirit speaking within us and through others in our world.


(Pause for silent reflection)

Community Raises hands in gesture of mutual forgiveness 

BMM and all: I am sorry, Please forgive me, I love you and I thank you. 


Mary Theresa: Let us rejoice in the companionship we share with all the saints as we sing the Gloria:

Gloria: Linda Lee Miller

ALL Sing: Glory to God, glory, o praise God, alleluia, Glory to God, glory, o praise the name of our God (3 times)


Mary Theresa

Let us pray: We rejoice that we are in the Holy One from the first moment of life until we pass into the fullness of eternal life. We are called to follow Jesus’ path to blessedness by living the Beatitudes in our world today. By the power of the Spirit working in us, it will be so. 

All: Amen

Bridget Mary:

We pray today as one family in the communion of saints, the holy women and men who have crossed over into the fullness of eternal life from our MMOJ Community: Joe and Jodie Adler, Carol Ann Breyer, Sally Brochu, Helen Duffy, Ford Englert, Charlie Grunkemeyer, Angela Herbert, Bob MacMillan, Jack Meehan, Ron Modras, Eileen Miller, Bob Murray, Tom Murtha, Imogene Rigdon, Marie Scott, Ron Sushinski,  Mindy Simmons, Russ Banner, Peg Bowen and Jack Duffy. We give thanks for each of them who have left loving footprints on our hearts.

All: Amen. 


First Reading: Jack McKillip

Our first reading is from the first Letter of John

See what love Abba God has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God!

Yet that, in fact is what we are.

The reason the world does not recognize us 

Is that it never recognized Christ.

Dearly beloved, we are God’s children now;

What we will later be has not yet come to light.

We know that when it comes to light,

We will be like Christ,

For we will see Christ in reality.

These are the inspired words of John, the evangelist: Thanks be to God.

(Pause for silent reflection)

Come be Beside Us  by Jan Phillips

Second Reading: Mary Montavon

Our second reading is from A Reflection for Feast of All Saints-and All Souls from Joyce Rupp

What is it like for you to pause and recall the deceased people of your past who enabled you to be the person you are today? I don’t do it often enough but when I do, these memories bring both gratitude and a resolve to shape my life in a way that makes a positive difference. This is the time of year when Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve) takes center stage before the feast of All Saints and All Souls Day. These celebrations have their roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which emphasized a potential connection with those who have died and gone before us, who somehow remain available to us if we call upon them to draw near. The festival recognizes this ethereal relationship—a “thin veil”—a time when the world of spirits easily opens up to allow passing back and forth from their realm of existence to ours. Some find this possibility spooky or fearful, while others accept this inexplicable kinship as strengthening and uplifting. The latter has been my experience.

Probably not many people have this intimate connection in mind when praying The Litany of Saints which addresses designated holy ones. Yet those very requests invite a relationship with the saints—"pray for us, hear us, be with us, reassure us.” We encourage a similar connection when remembering valued relatives, teachers, guides and mentors. When I journey back in my personal history, I am awed by how many persons touched my life—a great aunt whose generous, nonjudgmental love taught me the value of kindness, my second grade teacher who inspired me to approach prayer as a personal relationship, the college professor who asked me the surprising question that led to my entering a religious community, the friend whose compassion resurrected my joy—on and on the memories flow, and with them comes an ever fuller amazement and appreciation.

This month: Find a quiet spot of solitude where you can gather treasured memories of the wise ones, the truth-tellers and shapers-of-heart, who have influenced your life.

· Whose wisdom significantly marks the path of life you have taken?

· Who stood by you and moved you through troublesome times?

· Whose spirituality or theology has guided and grounded your own?

· Who brought you steadfast love and indelible acceptance?

· Who inspired and encouraged you to believe in your abilities?

These are the inspired words of Joyce Rupp and the community affirms them by saying, 

All: Thanks be to God. 

( Pause for silent reflection)

Alleluia (eightfold)

GOSPEL: Mary Theresa

A Reading from the Gospel According to Matthew (5:1-12) and The Beatitudes for the 21st Century by Jan Phillips

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the mountainside, and after he sat down and the disciples had gathered around, Jesus began to teach them:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed be the story-tellers, music-makers, and artists at life, for they are the true light of the world.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed be the tender-hearted who mourn and grieve the wars we've fought, the lives we've lost, may peace ride in on the river of their tears.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed be the Earth and those who tend her, for she is the source and sustenance of our lives.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 

Blessed be the children who hunger for food, learning, and homes that are safe, for their future is shaped by our choices today.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed be the persecuted and wrongly judged, for theirs is a sorrow lessened only by mercy and human kindness.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed be the prophets who speak and write of a world beyond war, for theirs are the words becoming flesh.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed be those who are calling for freedom, resisting oppression and risking their lives in the struggle for justice, for they are the shapers of a brighter world.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed be the refugees fleeing the violence of war and poverty may they find shelter, peace, and work that sustains them.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

These are the inspired words of the author of the Gospel of Matthew and Jan Phillips, and the community responds to them.

Reader: Thanks be to God.

(Pause for silent reflection)


Homily Sharing: Bridget Mary: Community members share an image or symbol of a loved one who has passed away or an image or symbol of their favorite saint and states why this person is a blessing or inspiration to them. 

Statement of Faith: Suzanne Bires- Please join me in praying together:

All: We believe in God, the creator and lover of all.  We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who shows us that the overflowing presence of the One beyond all comprehension dwells within us and is nearer to us then we are to ourselves. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, who empowers us with spiritual gifts for loving service and compassionate action. We believe in the great homecoming reunion of all God's people where all tears will be wiped away in a joyful gathering of God's holy people in the communion of saints. Amen 

(Statement of Faith by Bridget Mary) 

Prayers of the Community: Jerry Bries

As we prepare for the sacred meal, we pray for the needs of the people of God in our community and around the world. "I bring to the Table."  Our Response to each prayer is Amen

 MMOJ Book of Intentions

Please share your spontaneous prayers.

Presider: Jerry Bires

We give thanks for all whom we held in the circle of grace and will continue to pray for and serve. Amen.


Preparation of The Gifts

Bridget Mary: Blessed are you, God of all Life. Through your goodness we offer these gifts: bread, wine, our lives and the lives of those we love.


ALL: Blessed be God Forever. 

Eucharistic Prayer

Prayer Leader: Suzanne Bires: 

God dwells within you. 



And also within you. 

Prayer Leader: Suzanne Bires:

Lift up your hearts.  

ALL:  We lift them up in the Christ Presence everywhere.  

Prayer Leader: Suzanne Bires

Let us give thanks to  the Holy One.

ALL:  With the saints we give God thanks and praise.

Prayer Leader: Jerry Bires

We thank you, Holy One, for the saintly women and men of old, the cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, and who accompany us on our journey. With your angels and saints, we sing your praise for all who continue to live as the Christ presence in our world.

Holy, Holy, Holy

 Prayer Leader: Suzanne Bires

 We thank you for the courage and fidelity of all the ones you sent to prepare a path for us to follow - the holy women and men of every age, race, and culture. We especially thank you for our dear ones in our MMOJ Community who have passed into your loving embrace.(Pause for silent reflection)

Prayer Leader: Jerry Bires

We thank you, Nurturing God, for Jesus, who accompanies us on our journey into the depths of God's infinite love for us, and who inspires us and  energizes us to live the Beatitudes in our world today. 

(Community extends hands in blessing toward bread and wine and pray with me)

 Bridget Mary and All: 

Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine. 


 On the night before he died, Jesus gathered at the table with his friends, he spoke the blessing, broke the bread and shared it with them saying: 

Take and eat.

Whenever you remember me like this  

I am among you. 


Mary Theresa and All: 

(lifts the cup as community prays the following:)

Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying: 

Take and drink of the covenant 

Made new again through my life in you. 

Whenever you remember me like this, 

I am among you. 


Mary Theresa and All: 

As we share this bread and cup, we proclaim Christ dies, Christ rises and Christ comes again and again. 

Prayer Leader: Jerry Bires 

Holy One,Your creativity flows through our beings. Your joy fills us and Your empowerment bubbles up inside us as we celebrate your presence always within us and within all our saints. 

Prayer Leader: Suzanne Bires:

 For you are the Love that dwells in our depths, the Wisdom of the Ages that speaks within us and through us, and the Divine Passion that makes us all one.  

(Community members hold their plates and cups during Doxolog)y

Prayer Leader: Suzanne Bires: 

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, gracious God.   

The Great Amen. Linda Lee Miller


The Prayer of Jesus

Bridget Mary:  Let us pray as Jesus taught us.

All: O Holy One, you are within, around, and among us.

We celebrate your many names. 

Your wisdom come, your will be done, 

unfolding from the depths within us.

Each day you give us all we need. 

You remind us of our limits, and we let go. 

You support us in your power, and we act with courage. 

For you are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us,

And the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen

(Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)

Sign of Peace: 

Mary Theresa: Please extend a sign of peace to one another: Namaste, Namaste!

Litany for the Breaking of Bread 

Bridget Mary:  Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:

(Presiders break the bread)


O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly.

O God of Compassion, You call us to be Your presence in the world.  We will love tenderly.

O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power.  We will walk with integrity in your presence.  

(Presiders hold up bread and wine)

 Mary Theresa

 This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other. All are welcome to the Feast. Eat and drink and delight in Christ's Presence everywhere.


Communion Meditation: I'll be Always Loving You by Tricia Watts


Bridget Mary:  

Creator Spirit, you move through the circle of grace connecting the living and the dead, a sacred community of kinship and support. We give thanks for this Cloud of Witnesses who have gone before us, leaving behind s rich treasury of faith and service. We hold in our hearts today our beloved, family, friends and members of MMOJ community whom we miss and will always love.

ALL:  Amen.

Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions, Announcements


Mary Theresa:   

The Holy One dwells within you and illuminates our world through all our saints. 

MT and ALL: 

And is also within you and within all saints in the making!


(Please extend your hands in mutual blessing)

Bridget Mary and All: 

May the God of Sarah and Abraham bless us.

May the God of Jesus and Mary Magdalene bless us.

May the God of all our MMOJ Saints bless us and may we always celebrate our oneness in the communion of the saints.  Amen


Mary Theresa: Go in peace, let the celebration continue!

MT and ALL:   Thanks be to God. 


When the Saints Go Marching In (Jack Meehan and band in Tullamore, Eire.

Mary Mother of Jesus Website:

If you would like to add your intention to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to Joan Meehan: